How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Apache Junction AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Apache Junction AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Apache Junction AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Apache Junction AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Apache Junction AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Apache Junction AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Apache Junction AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Apache Junction AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Apache Junction AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Apache Junction Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apache Junction AZ.